Thursday, April 22, 2010

"No Fear In Love"

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear" (I John 4:18).

The realized love of Christ and fear are mutually exclusive, and cannot co-exist in us.

When we allow worry and the sense of insecurity to control us, we focus on ourselves rather than the glory of God and the blessing of others. This is true even when our fears concern others such as our loved ones. We do them no service when legitimate concern leads to fear rather than faith because the love of the Lord Jesus Christ does not flow from the self-centeredness of being afraid. "Charity (love)... seeketh not her own" declared the Apostle Paul, and thus our loved ones need from us not the selfishness of fear, but the unselfishness that always flows from confidence in the Lord Jesus (I Corinthians 13:5).

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" (Psalm 56:3).

Note David's directing of attention away from his feelings and perceptions of jeopardy to confidence in the faithfulness of God. Such response empowered by the Holy Spirit makes possible the working of God in us for His glory and the blessing of others. We live assuredly from strength, His strength, rather than the weakness of our flesh. Christ is exalted, and when our temptations to fear concern others, He is revealed to them through the confident prayers we pray, and through our attitude and demeanor of God-centered peace (as opposed to flesh-centered uncertainty and fear). Our actions also reflect the fact that we are led and enabled by the love of Christ as His assurance leads and enables us. We "work the works of God" rather than the works of the flesh (John 6:28).

Few greater challenges confront us in our walk with God. More importantly, few greater opportunities await us as the uncertainties of life lead to conscious acts of "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." This is peace, the peace of Christ's love that blessedly casts away the self-centeredness of fear by replacing it with our Lord's selfless devotion to our Heavenly Father and the needs of others (Hebrews 12:2).

"Faith... worketh by love."
(Galatians 5:6)

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